The Philippines is expected to receive the first batch of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech on Monday, May 10, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Saturday, May 4.
The delivery of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines were supposed to arrive last February.
“On Monday, May 10, we are expecting the Pfizer delivery of around 193,000 doses,” said Duque in a press briefing on Saturday, May 8.
The delivery of these vaccines is through the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX facility— a global initiative aimed at securing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
The announcement came after the Philippines on Saturday received more than two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines also through the COVAX Facility.
“Since the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines from COVAX Facility in March, more than two million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the Philippines,” the DOH said in a statement.
“More than 300,000 Filipinos in priority groups have received two doses and are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” it added.
WHO Country Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said that “each shipment of vaccines from the COVAX Facility brings us one step closer to ensuring the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world and health for all in the Philippines.”
“However, vaccines do not replace the important prevention measures we practice now—wearing face masks, avoiding crowded places and settings, frequent handwashing, and remaining physically distant from others,” he added.